Come Join Us In Remembering What The World Has Forgotten..... The Seventh Day Sabbath!
HOW DO WE PERCEIVE GOD?
Testimony of Truth
People of The Living God
Most of us have at sometime in our driving experience, seen the blue lights behind us alerting us that we have violated some law and have been caught. When this happens, people have different reactions. Some become angry and begin to spout off at the officer, which generally makes the officer more determined to issue the deserved ticket. Others respond by attempting to convince the officer that he had a legitimate reason for violating the law. Others may merely sit there accepting that they had broken the law and accept the consequences of their actions. But in every case, each person has a particular opinion of the police in general. We either respect their authority knowing they are doing what they are paid to do, or we see them as oppressors of the poor, racists, or those who like to throw their weight around because they wear a badge. I have heard people say things like, “Why don’t they go out and catch the real criminals rather than sitting on the side of the road with their radars trying to catch people who are just trying to get to work?” Such remarks show the ignorance of people who don’t understand that our laws are in place for our protection and, if not enforced, then everyone is in danger. The law officer monitors our highways to keep us safe from those who would drive carelessly, recklessly and endanger the lives of others. While none of us like to be caught and have to pay a fine, we should be thankful that the police are patrolling our roads.
While we all have opinions of our police departments, we also have varying opinions of God. Some think of God as an austere judge sitting in heaven and looking down upon the earth to see who is being disobedient to His commands so He can punish them in some way. They look at Him much like some perceive the police. Honestly, they consider Him a tyrant who determines to have His own way and is ready to punish any who do not live up to His standards. Sadly, this is not only how many sinners perceive God, but many Christians see God this way also.
Men Who Saw God
Consider the record of men of God who have encountered God is some supernatural way. Isaiah tells of the time when he saw the Lord, in the first 8 verses of Isaiah six. “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
Let’s consider a few of the glories of God that appeared to Isaiah and the affect this revelation had upon him. First, Isaiah saw God “Sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up.” He beheld God as King of kings and Lord of lords and, in that revelation, he witnessed God’s glory, power, majesty and wonder. This encounter changed Isaiah forever. He would never be the same afterwards. The seraphims could not withhold worship to so great a being and sang out, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” God’s glory so filled the temple as to captivate the heart of all who were present in divine love and submission. Isaiah’s first response was to draw back, knowing that he was a man of unclean lips, a sinner who had no right to stand before or to look upon holy God. But God sent one of the seraphims with a live coal from the altar and when it touched Isaiah’s lips, his iniquities were taken away and his sin purged. Once pardoned, Isaiah immediately answered to the call and burden of God. This revelation of God created within him such a love, a faith, and a commitment that stayed with him the remainder of his life. There was nothing from this moment forward that could separate him from the love of Christ so clearly and vividly revealed to him in his encounter with God.
The great apostle John on the isle of Patmos also had an encounter with God. Reading from Revelation 1:9-19, “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.”
Note the effect this divine presence had upon this great man of God. When John saw Christ in His glorified state, he fell at His feet as if he were dead. John had walked with Jesus when Jesus was in the flesh, but now he was given a special revelation of Jesus in His high and majestic state. God placed His right hand upon John, lifted him up and he was shown many things which were to come to pass in the future, things which were and are very important to the church. Jesus spoke some very encouraging words to John. “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” These words given to John from the very mouth of Jesus Christ from heaven have been an encouragement to saints throughout the ages. How often have these words been read and quoted when Christians have been faced with various trials in life.
Moses was another man who communed with God, and on the mount God spoke to him face to face (Ex. 33:11). When Moses had been in the presence of God for forty days and forty nights, he returned to the camp of Israel but the glory that radiated from his face from being in the shekinah company of God was so great that the people could not look upon him. Therefore, Moses had to cover his face with a veil so he could speak to the people. So glorious and life-changing is the presence of the Lord that every believer should desire to see God. It’s not that everyone may see God as these men did, for God has many ways of revealing Himself to those who believe and we cannot limit God in the way He designs to work. He may reveal Himself to some in a still small voice. To others as a voice from heaven that most men will not hear. Yet, in each way it will be unique as He removes the vail that separates the divine from the earthly. That darkened glass through which we can only faintly see is suddenly removed and His glory and power flood into one’s heart and life. In an encounter such as these, one is never the same, but changed forever.
As believers we are called upon to worship God is spirit and in truth. How can one truly worship God when he considers God a tyrant? How can he be devoted to one whom he perceives a cruel judge waiting to swoop down and punish men for their slightest fault? Some feel God is like the hawk which sits upon a tree branch waiting for the unsuspecting mouse to creep out into the open so he can sweep down and devour him. How can one worship a God such as this? In order to truly worship God in spirit and in truth, one must behold God’s beauty, His benevolence and love, His mercy and grace, His patience and longsuffering. He must see God in truth. He must see Him as He is and not as the devil would portray Him or ignorant men convey Him to be. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. This is the God we serve and the truths of God’s love, mercy and grace are the things that cause worship to spring up within our hearts. God would that none should perish but that all would come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9). God also reveals Himself through His word, and we find that He is a God that has defeated every enemy. He is a man of war and, in the life of Jesus Christ, He defeated every dart Satan sent against Him. He gave Himself into Satan’ hands to be crucified, but He did so, not to be defeated but to rise again triumphant over death and procuring salvation and eternal life for every soul who would believe in Him. Not only has He overthrown Satan and his kingdom, He has given His children power over every enemy, also. John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” To become fully mature sons of God is to be overcomers. It is to overcome Satan, the world, and the self-nature just as He overcame. It is, then, that we will sit with Him in His throne and execute the power He executed when He was in the world. To be completely and totally surrendered to God requires that we gain a vision of Christ in all His power and glory. God is no respecter of persons and if He revealed Himself to others, He will reveal Himself to you, also. The Father desires to give good things to them that love Him. May God kindle within every Christian’s heart a greater desire to truly know Him and worship Him in spirit and in truth.